Mom wrote thousands of letters during her lifetime. (Long-distance telephone calls were only used for emergencies.) She wrote to her brothers and sisters, friends, her children when they had left home, and even distant relatives in
Divided by thousands of miles, wars, the Iron Curtain, and many, many years, the Leschyshyns, like so many other immigrants, could have lost touch with their family in the Old Country. That they didn’t was due, at first, only to Mom’s father, John.
John was a well-educated man who knew 4 languages. He taught Mom how to read and write in Ukrainian.
Communication between relatives in Ukraine and Mom’s family depended, at first, only on John, but, when he passed away, our link was maintained through Mom’s letters.
In the 1990’s, Maria Kalin, one of the cousins with whom Mary corresponded, came to visit the family in Canada.
Mom was overjoyed.
In a letter to me, dated September 7, 1990, Mom wrote:
I thought I would write even I don’t have much to say.
I thank girls for a nice sweater and you & Bryan for a lovely picture. Thanks very much.
On Tues Matt took Marie & me to town so she bought a nice blue dress and 10 yards of white cloth for Ukrainian blouses so she started to do Nellies on Tues she got the front done I gave her the embroidery thread and canvas. On Wed we took Lee Nicholas and me to Mirons to Roblin.
Katie gave me ice cream pail of home grown apples, 8 head cabbage and some onion.
I cooked the apples for pies to freeze but cooked on high to long that become mush I froze it and wondering how to use as its no good for apple sauce as it has everything in it for pie I will figure out how to use it today I shredded the cabbage for sourkraut
Today I washed 3 loads of wash. And kraut before 11 oclock as I got up at 5 oclock. I could not sleep so took advantage and worked
The men will be finished this week combining in this area. They finished Matts barley and went on Lornes. They should be in Solsgirth tomorrow
Diana brought books for you but perhaps you didn’t know. They be till you come some times and you didn’t look at magazines.
I started to knit again today but perhaps I will knit two pairs of slipperets the rest is short pieces so I will crochet it all in round rug. As they don’t make that yarn any more.
We been lucky not having frost till now every body have cucumbers Marie said that cucumbers don’t grow as the acid rain kills them.
I had lot of fun with her she a jolly girl.
I tried to read the paper this morning but it was hard I guess I was to tired.
May sunshine guide you all the way Love Mother
I was very sad to hear this week that Maria passed away on July 14. In my mind’s eye, she is wearing a pale pink blouse and smiling up at the windows of the tour bus. When I step out, she will give me a hug and a kiss to welcome me to Ukraine.
May sunshine guide you and your family all the way, Maria.